I have been a Rotarian since 2007, and I have found the weekly Rotary meetings as the most serendipitous discovery machine for connections. Our club called the Reykjavik Rotary International the only english speaking Rotary Club in Iceland had a talk by Dr. Kristín Vala Ragnarsdóttir, Professor of Sustainability Science, Institutes of Earth Sciences and Sustainable Development Studies at the University of Iceland. The title of the talk was about Sustainability and how we the consumers have accelerated the screwing up of our environment. The talk was based on a presentation that Kristin had made for Designers, Architects and the Creatives. It was interesting and the discussions that followed were even more interesting, my opinion was quite obvious, I believe Entrepreneurs are the answers to solve some of the most difficult challenges we are facing as a global community like Climate Change. It was one of the reasons that I took on the role of CEO of GreenQloud and I wrote about how exponential growth of anything is not sustainable.
Coming back to what I was planning to blog about was the introduction Kristin made for me with Massimo Santanicchia, the Assistant Professor in Architecture and Director of the course Together – Repair. I attended the final pitch event and there were a number of teams presented their 6 week project report and I was extremely impressed with the designers. I was impressed at the number of students who were taking this course and how many of them were thinking differently on solving challenges. The mash up needed was to get this group of designers to interact with the 3 week Business Model Design and Entrepreneurship course that is concurrently happening at Reykjavik University and we have something here. I am pretty sure a bunch of viable businesses will come out of this collaboration.
I have written a lot about Team development for Startups, I think design thinking is critical in development of a product or service. Design is not just that the product or service is beautiful to look at or experience but design is how beautifully the product or service works. It is hard not to fall in love with a product or service that has been designed beautifully.
I am looking to get all the students that I saw in the class to participate in Startup Iceland and in the Hackathon. I am pretty sure they will make the connections with the Entrepreneurs and some of these ideas will get implemented into a business.
Check out this video by one of the teams, really impressive.